Monthly Archives: August 2012

Moon Town

The Moon made a ghost town amidst the

fractured clouds, full of bright streets and

brilliant corners but made up of

blank-faced tenements, gutted, slack-jawed,

full of foul memories and fissured with

unlit alleyways I was desperate to explore, for

down one dark dead-end I knew you were

waiting, alone and shivering and

unrequited.

“These are the things that happened in Sicily”

ταῦτα μὲν τὰ περὶ Σικελίαν γενόμενα.

 

Athenians thought Nicias modest, walking with

downcast eyes, but really he was just another

morose millionaire on the

lookout for a lost obol, missing the

minor miracles of life, like the

meteor streaking across the window, the

everyday stars that evanesce from

evening sky, the abrupt

startlement of jays, the woodpecker’s

gentle tap-tap seduction of

soft bodies in hard wood, the

redefinition of grey in every

overcast sky—all this is

missed if eyes are fixed to ground or

face is pressed to pillow, eyes

gummed shut with tears as even

Nicias’ eyes were when he led Athens to its

Golgotha in a Sicilian quarry, hot, dust-dry,

surrounded by spears, where all his

millions couldn’t buy a

cup of water.

Pool

He had one dive left and

nothing in the tank, no

spare memories to fill the total

blankness of the pool, its meaning

drained without competition,

emptied of spectators, chairs

stacked, lights extinguished, doors

locked against last minute

rule changes, nothing but

him and his nerve and his

toes’ tentative discovery of where

solidity ended.

Upland, Downland

 

Some mornings, the clouds and hills

swap places in some

pre-dawn prank, one huddling

blue and knuckled,

supposedly solid, the other gently

evaporating heavenwards.

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